Keeping Your Baby Safe
Your newborn can't tell you how she feels, so look for subtle signs of illness
Signs and Symptoms
Contact your pediatrician if your newborn presents any of the following symptoms:
- Fever - greater than 99 degrees Fahrenheit (taken under the arm).
- Jaundice - a yellowish color in the skin or whites of the eyes.
- Excessive, prolonged crying or irritability.
- Drainage from the eyes or ears.
- Cough, congestion or difficulty breathing.
- Vomiting (more than spitting up) two feedings in a row.
- Refusal to feed two times in a row.
- Two or more watery stools with a foul odor.
- Lethargy - difficult to awaken and decreased activity.
- Unusual rashes.
- Bleeding or redness, drainage or foul odor from cord or circumcision.
- Your baby just doesn't seem "right."
Before Calling your Pediatrician
- Take the baby's temperature.
- Have a list of signs and symptoms available and when they started.
- Have a list of the medications the baby is currently taking and when he had them last.
- Have the name and phone number of your pharmacy available.
Baby Safety Tips
It is state law in Georgia that any child age 7 or younger riding in a car must be in a federally-approved child safety seat. All infants discharged from the hospital must ride home in a rear facing infant safety seat - and every ride there after no matter how short the ride. Holding the baby is not enough. If you had to stop quickly or were involved in a wreck, your baby would be forced forward, at least at the same speed you were traveling, causing severe injury or even death.
Dangers of summer heat and cars
According to verywellfamily.com, on a typical summer day, the temperature inside a car (even with the windows rolled down a little) can quickly rise above 120 to 140 F. Even on a relatively mild day, the temperature inside a car can get above 100 F. At those temperatures, kids are at great risk for heat stroke, which can lead to a high fever, dehydration, seizures, stroke and death. Never leave your child in a car and make it a habit to check the back seat of your car every time you get out and before you lock the doors.
Check the wheels for stability and be sure all folding parts are firmly locked into position before placing baby in the stroller.
- Prevent falls by not leaving your baby alone on a changing table, use straps if available.
- Keep sharp objects such as nail clippers out of baby's reach.
- Keep alcohol, lotions and powders out of baby's reach at all times.
- Always secure the harness when seated in a high chair.
- Keep the high chair away from stoves and electrical cords.
- Never leave your child alone on a high place, such as a changing table, high chair or sofa.
- Only use safety gates and walkers that are approved by new safety standards.
- Cover the ground under play equipment with soft material.
- Children should wear helmets when riding bikes, skateboarding, etc.
- Lock windows or cover them with window guards so children cannot fall through.
Fire Safety and Burns
- Always test the temperature of the water before letting your baby touch it.
- Keep hot liquids out of your child's reach.
- Supervise children in the kitchen.
- Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach.
- Use smoke detectors in every bedroom.
- Learn more about fire safety.
Keep the Poison Control Center phone number next to your telephone: 1-800-222-1222
- Keep plants that could be poisonous out of your child's reach.
- To prevent poisoning, keep home cleaning products and medication out of children's reach.
- Lock medications up in a small toolbox. Put a combination lock on it. Keep it stored in a high place.
- Test your home for lead poisoning.
- Never leave your child alone near water (in the bathtub, pool, at the beach or even near a bucket of water or the toilet).
- Pools should be fenced in and the gate should be locked.
- Always take pool toys out of the water when you're done swimming. If left in, a child may try to retrieve the toy and drown.
- Wading pools should be emptied at the end of playtime.
- Keep rainwater out of wading pools.
- Be cautious of certain dog breeds (Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, German Shepherds) that account for over fifty percent of fatal dog bites and closely supervise children when in the presence of animals.
- Pet reptiles, including turtles, snakes and lizards, are a common source of children developing Salmonella. You should keep pet reptiles away from children under five years old and teach older children to wash their hands after handling them.